Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Thinking about my next move.
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Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne uses many of the mechanisms found in Cosmic Encounter, changing the setting from cosmic to Westeros and including some other differences, mainly to give more thematic flavor and enhance control, as you won't find the crazy (and fun) powers of the aliens, nor cards like the Zap, Flares and such.

However, the changes didn't really accomplished its goal: there is still a lot of luck in the draw (maybe even more), in spite of the numbers going from 0 to 20, instead of 0 to 40. This is due to the character cards, which are, in one hand, a neat addition, since it makes the "planets" into persons, and to get the use of a particular character card, the player must send that individual to the encounter, and this, sometimes, means sending a weaker person, which can raise suspicions and create some tense moments. Yet, on the other hand, these cards are awful to be your main defense or attack, just giving a value of 0 - they are a good complement, but aren't, usually, meant to carry the bulk of the encounter. Thus, a hand filled with character cards can be an awful thing, and hard to recover, since cards are only drawn at the turn of the own player or when helping in a successful defense. And this gets tougher to deal when you already lost one or two family members.

Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne even makes easier to keep facing the same weakened opponent, as the once the player reveals a card of her own family, she can choose what family to face, which may sound good on paper, but in play is just more blood in the water and the vultures surrounding above.

Replay value is surprisingly high - even with the fixed deck of card each family has, the order in which they come, chances what you need to do; and each family has 5 members, with one of them being chosen as the leader, and the ability of any of them have impact in the play - it is as if the game came with 25 races.

Theme is present and there is some care to bring it forth. But adding people like Doreah as a key person in the Targaryen family (if you don't even know who she is, that is ok), or allowing Shireen to by the leader of the Baratheon, truly take players out of the immersion in the theme.

In the end, even if Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne has some nice features, as one player properly appointed, Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne brought several of the issues in Cosmic Encounter (luck, bashing) and made them worst, while not adding more fun - the encounters are more predictable, and bad card draws can bury your chances even more than in Cosmic Encounter. While it can run shorter, I much rather have a hearty and longer cosmic affair than a quibble for an iron throne.

Regards,


Image credit: W Eric Martin
 
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Gulyás Miklós
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At the end of each turn ALL players draw back to 5.
5 
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